Sir Wyn Williams minded to refuse BEIS application for Restriction Order

Further to his statement of 27 June, the Chair of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry has published a ‘minded to’ note, expressing his preliminary view on the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)’s application for a Restriction Order restricting the disclosure and publication of junior civil servants’ names. 

In the note, published today, Sir Wyn Williams states that he is minded to refuse the application as he considers relevant the names of junior officials contained in documents that have been determined to be relevant to the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference. 

He writes: 

“The matters being investigated by this Inquiry are very serious indeed. Furthermore, in the context of this specific Inquiry, there are a wide range of questions to be answered which go to who knew what and when. One of the issues in the List of Issues asks, if Horizon was not fit for purpose, who knew? Another series of issues concerns ‘Government Oversight’ and addresses the adequacy of the mechanisms that were put in place. Who received what information within Government is relevant to the matters that I am determining. These are all matters which will clearly be in the balance when requests for further redactions are made.” 

He also explains that the documents disclosed by BEIS and which have been determined to be relevant to the Inquiry’s Terms of Reference, have already been through redaction processes, in which the Department has not provided case and fact specific reasons for the redaction of junior civil servants’ information. He adds that he considers these processes to be in accordance with the UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018. 

The full ‘minded to’ note is published here. Core Participants to the Inquiry and the media may send written submissions responding to this note to by 4pm on 5 July 2022. 

Press release